Review Detail

2.7 1
Young Adult Fiction 1079
Not my thing
Overall rating
 
2.7
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
2.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Eva reads a lot of romance novels. 118 to be exact. It’s her comfort, her distraction, and no one has really gotten her. At least until Will, a boy she starts tutoring who she connects with, both of them having lost someone and still dealing with their grief. Eva’s in love. Then Will announces that he’s moving. To California. Eva can’t deal with him leaving before anything ever actually happened between then so she convinces her best friend Annie to apply to be on a reality game show that happens to film close to Will’s new home. To get there, the girls embark on an epic road trip full of strange people, family members, quiz show prep and, of course, boys.

I was really excited to read this book. From the description, it seemed like it would be a great ‘friends on a fun road trip with a little romance’ type of story. I am always up for road trip books, especially when they feature great friendships. It turned out to be more focused on Eva and her supposed epic insta-love than on the girls’ friendship.

Eva wasn’t my favourite character but I didn’t dislike her for the most part. She was very young and impressionable. A lot of times I thought she came across as being a lot younger than she really was. I could understand her being drawn to Will since they did have a connection, and with her romance novel obsession I could even buy into her confusing her feeling for love so quickly, but to plan a trip across the country after kissing once? That was a bit ridiculous. She was a little, maybe more than a little, over the top in love with Will and she was prone to very bad decision making, but there was something about her that also felt real. She was flawed, she made stupid mistakes over a boy, but she learned from them.

Eva’s best friend Annie was actually my favourite character. She let herself get roped into Eva’s idea but she seemed a lot more mature and I felt bad for her, knowing Eva was on the trip because of a boy and supporting Annie came second.

I had a hard time buying into the romance. Eva and Will definitely did bond and they could have been great friends but there was never a real indication of real feelings from either side. Will seemed more like a player and Eva jumped right to the love stage. It never feeling genuine made it hard to get into Eva’s excitement about seeing Will again, which was a huge part of the plot.

What was shown of the road trip, the places they went and the people they met, that was fun. I also liked the different reactions people had to Eva’s love of romance books. Some were accepting and encouraging but others looked down on it and it reminded me of the way some people look down on readers of YA or romance or really any genre they think is less than the genre they read. I loved that Eva stuck to reading what she liked no matter what.

There was also an underlying issue of dealing with grief through the whole book. Eva lost her father in a plane crash a few years ago and the plan had never been recovered. There were constant messages on a board for family of the victims with new information and the way the families all felt about it. Eva and her mother had such different views on it and different ways of coping. The way their grieving was handled and Annie were definite highlights of the book.

Overall, it was a quick read and I’m sure I would have liked it more if there had been more focus on Eva and Annie’s friendship instead of a romance I never bought into from the start.
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